My Story (Hope you like it!):
I was born in the Philippines then grew up in a small island of Guam where I was raised in a very family-oriented community for 18 years until moving to the US Mainland to pursue an undergraduate education in San Francisco. My parents supported my elementary, high school, and undergraduate education through cooking, cleaning and construction jobs which required very hard labor and caused severe injuries that could have taken their lives. These sacrifices and struggles that my parents have endured through the years, as well as the needs of my island home for more affordable housing and sustainable means of building have always fueled my innate passion in architecture--and architecture that is designed beautifully, thoughtfully, and can teach and encourage others to do the same.
With the limitless opportunities in the US available for me to achieve my academic goals, I was able to excel in my undergraduate architectural education in the University of San Francisco through scholarships and loans offered by the university. I was aware of this rare opportunity and so made the most out of my experiences. I managed to graduate with Magna Cum Laude honors as well as other community outreach related awards and recognition for designs of prototype clinics and orphanages for Haiti and Colombia. In the years that followed undergrad--I worked part time as a sales associate and a total of 3 to 4 design related contract jobs (and once worked for 3 different firms at the same time)in order to support myself, gain practical experience and explore my interests in affordable housing, sustainable architecture, and interior design. I later was accepted into the architecture program at UCLA and decided to take on this big challenge in order to equip myself with more skills and knowledge to hopefully set me apart from other designers in the field and learn unique ways I can give back to the community and especially to my home.
Since my parents are much older now and both unable to work, I wanted to relieve them of any financial stress and decided to take complete financial responsibility for my master’s education. I have been surviving the program through academic loans and have been working really hard throughout the last two years. Despite the overwhelming pressures of living on a very tight budget to cover printing, model-making, food, housing, transportation and other expenses, I was able to achieve straight A’s in every course and have already developed great professional relationships with other students and professors. While attending school full-time, I also managed to help design an elementary school in South Sudan for kids who are less fortunate in hopes to make education more readily available.
I strongly believe that the knowledge and skills I will acquire from this program combined with my passion, persistence, and drive will aid me in becoming an inspirational individual in architecture, not only in the work I plan to provide for the people of Guam but also the works I plan to contribute to different disciplines and in different parts of the world.
I really hope you can consider donating to my cause, I’ll be sure to show my gratitude by working super hard and making you proud!
God bless you and thank you very much!
- misrak yitbarek
- The GoFundMe Team
- Ana Munoz
- Marinna Sawce
- Teresita Pagcaliwangan
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